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  • David Silverberg

How dentists can make money selling dental scrap

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Written By David Silverberg

Dental professionals could be missing out on another branch of revenue that may be staring them in the face. Literally. When dentists and orthodontists work on crowns, caps, bridges and other old restorations, in front of their mask could be a mouth full of metal alloys containing precious metals such as gold, platinum, palladium, and silver. This material is known as “dental scrap” and dentists around the world often ignore what they extract from patients, perhaps dumping these metals into the trash. Little education exists on the value of this dental scrap, or that even such extractions are worth keeping in exchange for cash from a reputable buyer.

Dentists are unaware they could be pocketing extra money by working with an established dental refining company such as Muzeum Dental Refining. By ordering a free kit through our experienced staff, dentists will get clear instructions on how they can send their dental scraps for analysis and value assessment.

When you sell dental scrap, how it works is that every haul of dental scrap will yield a different valuation, which is why dentists shouldn’t deal with shady buyers who visit offices randomly with oily pitches that sound too good to be true. 

These door-to-door salespeople often don’t have the answers to inquiries about the refining process. After all, dentists want to know who’s for real and who’s making it up at as they go along.

At Muzeum Dental, our refining phase homogenizes the different metals found within dental scrap. Then the next step is bar analysis using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology, so specialists trained in this innovative iteration of X-ray technology study the dental scrap to determine the breakdown of metal composition including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. When dental professionals work with Muzeum Dental, they get paid on ALL four precious metals as opposed to just gold, which how some fly-by-night operations conduct their business.

What is this type of X-ray tech? As explained by ThermoFisher Scientific: “XRF analyzers determine the chemistry of a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) x-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary x-ray source. Because this fluorescence is unique to the elemental composition of the sample, XRF is an excellent technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the material composition.” Dentist might be thinking, Well, can’t I eyeball what I have myself, after doing some research online? When we interviewed Daniel Gruz, an account executive at Muzeum Dental, he replied to that question by saying: 

“Dentists aren’t too sure about the value of these teeth. After all, usually what they pull out comes from older patients and, in Canada with so many nationalities all blended together, some of these crowns and caps and inlays contain a variety of precious metals, some more valuable than the others. Dental work in Latin America may be quite different than dental work in Europe. Certain decades favoured using platinum as fillings instead of gold, say, and in some regions of Asia they didn’t use many precious metals at all in their dental work. “ It should be noted dental scrap buyers are often not interested in a few restorations, such as:

  • Amalgam dental fillings – Due to being such a common kind of silver-colored tooth filling that's placed in a single office visit, their ubiquity diminishes their value.

  • Silver-coloured partial dentures – Recycling this metal isn’t as attractive a target for buyers compared to gold and palladium.

Palladium is often overlooked by some dentists who come across this metal alloy in fillings or crowns. It can be extremely valuable, considering how it’s worth a lot more than gold. Palladium is known as a soft silver-white metal similar to platinum, but it is the least dense and exhibits the lowest melting point of the platinum group metals. You can check the price of palladium, and gold and silver, via these tickers at Gold.TO.

Also, dental scrap can be uncovered in unlikely places around the dental office. Metal shavings or “sweep” sneaks its way onto the floor or along carpeting or inside dust collector and vacuum bags. While not as lucrative as metals from restorations, sweep can still net dentists a return.

Once you find dental scrap, it’s ideal to store it safely as soon as possible. Keep your dental scrap in Muzeum Dental’s provided sealed container when you order a free assessment kit. The entire process takes up to seven business days. Dentists using our free dental scrap kit will get a materials breakdown similar to this example: For more details about dental, visit our blog post on the 10 top facts you need to know about dental scrap. Hear what other dental professionals have to say about leveraging the value of dental via the first installment of our Dentists Q&A series. To learn more about our services, such as the free assessment kits, check out our FAQ section. Contact us anytime if you have questions about how we can turn your dental scrap into free cash. David Silverberg

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